Applied Biostatistics Using Stata

Biostatistics is the statistical analysis of biomedical and health care data generated from the health sciences. This course has a practical hands on structure, with exercises for each topic to allow participants time to discuss and digest the material covered.

Level 2 - runs over 5 days

Dr Joanna Dipnall is a biostatistician with the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine (SPHPM) at Monash University and Honorary Research Fellow with School of Medicine at Deakin University. She holds a B.Ec(Honours) from Monash University, and a PhD from the School of Medicine at Deakin University. She also lectures and tutors with the Department of Statistics, Data Science and Epidemiology at Swinburne University. Joanna has developed a novel Risk Index for Depression (RID) utilising SEM and machine learning techniques that brought together five key determinants of depression. She has been a teacher of Stata software for over 15 years, training across Australia and overseas and was a member of the Scientific Committee for the Oceania Stata Users Group Meeting in 2017.

About this course: 

This course is designed for participants with a basic understanding of statistics and builds up over the week to more sophisticated biostatistics. The course provides a grounding in the use of the Stata package for biostatistics, focusing on the analysis of medical data. Descriptive statistical techniques are used to demonstrate the package's features.


This workshop will provide a practically oriented introduction to a range of modern statistical methods that are commonly used for analysing medical data from epidemiological or clinical studies (e.g. cross-sectional, cluster randomised trials, longitudinal cohort studies). The last day will finish with a range of exercises to practice implementing the week’s learnings.


Course syllabus: 

Day 1

  • Introduction to biostatistics
  • Talking about populations

Population distributions and parameters
Probability and probability models

  • Representative data

Different sampling plans
Power and sample size

  • Summarizing data (part 1)

Sampling and inferential statistics
Frequency and frequency distributions


Day 2

  • Summarizing data (part 2)

Population proportions and percentiles
Mean, standard deviation, median and interquartile range
Visualising your data
Transforming data

  • Testing statistical hypotheses

Hypothesis testing, p-values and significance
Comparing groups – continuous data, using paired and two sample t tests, oneway ANOVA
Comparing groups – categorical data, using chi-squared, Fisher’s exact tests

  • Linear Regression

Simple linear regression
Investigating multivariate relationships
Multiple linear regression
Confounders and interactions
Goodness of fit and regression diagnostics


Day 3

  • Logistic regression

Probability, relative risk, absolute risk and odds ratio
Comparing proportions
Multiple logistic regression
Goodness of fit and regression diagnostics

  • Poisson regression

Incidence rate ratios
Multiple poisson regression
Poisson regression diagnostics


Day 4

  • Survival analysis

Kaplan-Meier survival functions
Cox proportional hazards regression
Checking assumptions

  • Panel data

Preparing panel data in Stata
Balanced versus unbalanced panels
Fixed, between and random effects
Panel regression diagnostics


Day 5

  • Group exercises
Course format: 

This course may run in a computer lab, or you may be advised to bring your own laptop with specified software.

We will let you know in advance.

Notes and data files will be provided.

Recommended Background: 

The course assumes that participants have some familiarity with a PC environment including keyboard skills and understanding of folder and file structures; some experience in using Microsoft Word and Excel or their equivalent.


Q: Do I have to have any prerequisites to do this course?

A: No, but it would help to have to have some experience with a PC based environment and a basic statistical knowledge.


The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course texts.

Supported by: 

Stata is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Survey Design and Analysis Services.